Let’s not forget Sauternes. I tasted about two dozen samples of 2006 Sauternes and Barsacs at the offices of the well-respected négociant Joanne. The company had a half-dozen or so individual tasting rooms for customers from around the world which were extremely well-equipped with tasting glasses and samples. The latter were in excellent condition and kept at the right temperature as well, which is important. This morning, most of the people were tasting 2006 reds.
Sauternes in 2006 suffers the same problems as the reds of the vintage. There are some fantastic wines, but some pretty average ones as well. Apparently, it comes down to the same things. The best wines are from estates that worked extremely well in their vineyards during the growing season and the harvest , and that also selected and fermented properly in their cellars.
Olivier Castéja, one of the owners of the négociant house and the family member who runs the Barsac estate of Doisy-Védrines said that, primarily, the top estates in the region with the know-how and resources could make very good to outstanding wines in 2006.
The top wines I tasted, which included d'Yquem and de Fargues, were rich and powerful with lots of spicy botrytis character and racy acidity. They had medium sweetness. They reminded me of 1988 or 1997. I also like very much Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Guiraud, Rieussec, La Tour Blanche and Suduiraut.
Hervé Romat, who makes the wine at Doisy-Védrines, explained that the rain in mid-September caused a quick outbreak of noble rot and one had to pick about five or six days after the botrytis set in. He added that they had to pick at a fast rate to maintain the quality of the botrytis. About two-thirds of DV’s production was picked in a few days. “It was doing the right things at the right time,” he said.
Pierre Lurton, who oversees Yquem as well as Cheval-Blanc, said he was very pleased with the quality of his super sweetie. He said that the 2006 Yquem has “such purity and freshness … We have two great things in 2005 and 2006. We have the same balance as 1988, 1989 and 1990 …. The guys that have great terroir could make something very, very good in 2006 but you had to do things with a lot of precision in the vineyard as well as the cellar.”
He wasn’t sure if he would be selling Yquem as futures this year. However, I understand that all the other well-known Sauternes will be sold as futures. Prices? No one talked about that.
(Click here to read about the top wines of the Right Bank.)
Glenn S Lucash — April 3, 2007 2:38pm ET
Laurie Woolever — New York — April 3, 2007 2:51pm ET
Mark Goldberger — April 3, 2007 3:18pm ET
Richard Horvath — April 3, 2007 9:08pm ET
Sam Chanhao — calgary — April 4, 2007 3:41am ET
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